What Time To Start Baby’s Day

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What Time To Start Baby’s Day. What time should be baby’s waketime each day? How to calculate and decide baby’s perfect wakeup time.

Baby looking out the window

What time should you aim to start your day every day? When you want to! Of course, this will be affected by the child’s input also. It seems to me most Babywise moms start their day in the 7 AM hour. Brayden and I always have started at 7 AM. I have Kaitlyn start at 7:30 AM because I still need to feed Brayen breakfast and such before starting with her. Here are some things to consider:

  • Your waketime now will likely be your waketime until your child decides that he actually enjoys sleeping in. That will take some time. You can work it back later, but it is easier to manipulate it now.
  • Are you a morning person? If so, you could start earlier. I am, but I prefer to start Brayden at 7 so I have 1-2 hours in the morning before he gets up. If not, you would probably prefer a 7:30 or 8:00 waketime.
  • Start early enough you can get all the feedings and naps in before desired bedtime.
  • You don’t have to start at a half hour increment. You can start at 7:10 or 7:15. You decide.

Whatever time you start, be consistent. Start at the same time within 30 minutes. If you start at 7 AM, that doesn’t mean you can start anywhere from 6:30 or 7:30, it means 7-7:30 or 6:45-7:15, etc. While I was pregnant with Kaitlyn, Brayden started at 7:15 so I could sleep until 7:00 and get up and use the restroom, etc. before I got him. Do what works for you.

Poll Results: What time do you start baby’s day? (Waketime)
6:30 AM: 8 votes (12%)
7:00 AM: 23 votes (37%)
7:30 AM: 15 votes (24%)
8:00 AM: 12 votes (19%)
8:30 AM: 2 votes (3%)
9:00 AM: 2 votes (3%)
Total of 62 votes

Other Wake Time Posts:

Sample Baby Schedules:

What Time To Start Baby's Day. What time should be baby's waketime each day? How to calculate and decide baby's perfect wakeup time. 

Reader Questions:

  • Amber said…
    Hello…I have yet another questions! Here I go…My daughter is almost 3 1/2 months old and has been STTN (going 7 – 9 hours straight) for at least a month now. Bedtime at 8:30 sleep until 6ish, eat, sleep until 8:30 or 9:00. The question is that she is starting to sleep longer at night (until 7 or 7:30) I DON’T want a waketime that early so she eats and goes back to sleep. Do I feed her again at 8:30 or 9 when she wakes for the day or do I start my 3 hour schedule at 7:00ish in the morning?Thanks!
    January 4, 2008 8:33 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    I think you are going to have to start your day at 7:30 when she wakes. Once she gets to the point of sleeping 12 hours, you could set bedtime at 8:30 and sleep until 8:30. I wouldn’t start any later than 8:30 AM though. Until then, I would start the day and routine at 7:30.
    January 5, 2008 10:01 AM
  • Becky & Scott said…
    I just found you too! I’m sooo glad I did! I felt like I had no one to talk to about BW! My question is, at what point do you not set the morning wake-up time? Do you always? How do I know what he is capable of sleeping if I am waking him up? His dreamfeed is at 10pm and his wake up time is 7:00am. Sometimes he wakes for a feeding at 5:00am. Thanks!
    March 17, 2008 11:08 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    I always set the morning waketime. I think that is a very important step in getting a consistent schedule from day to day (meaning naps are at the same time each day). When he has a feeding at 5, I would let him sleep in an extra 30 minutes if he will, but no longer. You want that metabolism to get hungry at the same time each day.Glad you found us! It is very helpful to have fellow BW people to hash things out with.March 17, 2008 11:20 AM
  • Catherine said…
    Hi Valerie, Just had a quick question:Is the waketime window 30 minutes on either side?For example, our waketime is 8. This morning my son woke at 7:30, so I just started the day. Sometimes he will wake between 5:30 and the 6 a.m. hour. (We are making great progress with sttn!) When that happens I will get him up at 8:30 to give more time between the feeds.Just wanted to make sure I was being consistent.March 21, 2008 1:10 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    Catherine, No, it is a 30 minute variance. So if waketime is 8:00, you could do 7:30-8:00 or 7:45-8:15 or 8:00-8:30 for example. This variance can change over time. By that I mean that if you chose 8-8:30 right now, it doesn’t have to be that 3 months from now. You can change it based on her needs at the time.You can have off days if you need, but try to keep it consistent. A consistent waketime is a huge factor in having a consistent schedule from day to day.March 21, 2008 10:01 AM
  • bethers21 said…
    Val, Is it normal to have to wake a baby almost every morning? Once we were on a consistent schedule our waketime has always been 7 am (6:45 during the week). He goes to bed after his 7pm feeding with a 10pm DF. I just didn’t know if he should be waking on his own and needs more sleep or whether it’s completely normal to have to get them up. Thanks!
    April 27, 2008 12:52 PM
    bethers21 said…
    Sorry to post again…I wasn’t logged in to blogger the first time so didn’t get to check to be notified of any comments 🙂
    April 27, 2008 1:02 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    I don’t know that it is normal as in common, but I certainly wouldn’t call it a problem 🙂 It is quite possible that he will wake on his own once the dreamfeed is dropped. It is also possible that he is just an awesome sleeper. I had to wake my daughter in the morning for a long time. Most days she is awake in the morning, though sometimes she still is asleep. Same for my 3 year old.
    April 28, 2008 9:59 AM
  • Erin Jensen said…
    Hi! I have sort of this same question but a little different. My baby goes down at 9 or 9:30 and waketime is 7:30 – 8:00 depending on how early I need to get into work. However he doesn’t usually wake on his own either and usually isn’t so happy to be getting up…does this mean he needs more sleep and I should put him down earlier? This would probably mean going down to 5 feedings which he would probably do ok with but I just don’t know. Oh he is 4 months old. Thanks!!!
    July 18, 2008 12:08 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    I would put him down earlier. If he needs a 6th feeding, I would do a dreamfeed at 9:30 or 10:00 ish. It sounds like he is read for more sleep 🙂
    July 21, 2008 4:50 PM
    Erin Jensen said…
    Thanks! I will gradually start getting him down earlier and we’ll see how he does without a dreamfeed. A little more time in the evening with him sleeping will probably be nice for us too!
    July 21, 2008 6:50 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    You are welcome! It will be very nice for you 🙂
    July 23, 2008 3:33 PM
  • Ikaika and Laura said…
    I had a question about waking early-my almost 4 month old goes down between 8-8:30 because that is when my 20 month old goes down. he eats right before bedtime but does not have a dreamfeed. he wakes anytime from 6-7:00 but i do not feed him until 12 hours from when he last ate to encourage him to sleep the whole 12 hours. he does not cry in his bed or anything he just plays and sucks his thumb. but then by the time i get him out to feed him he is pretty much ready to take a nap already. so we dont really have eat wake sleep it is more like eat change pamper sleep. is there anyway to encourage him to sleep until his first feeding?July 28, 2008 5:25 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    Keep in mind that baby does not move to a possible 10-12 hours of sleep at night until weeks 16-24. So I personally wouldn’t try to force 12 hours out of him before 24 weeks old unless you are positive he can do it. Also, some kids don’t sleep 12 hours. 10 hours is okay too.
    See 10-12 Hours of Sleep
    If you prefer him to sleep in later to going to bed earlier, then I would put him to bed later. If you prefer the earlier bedtime, I would continue with that but them feed him when he wakes. He is doing a great job. Another option would be to add a dreamfeed at 10:30ish to get him to be able to go longer into the morning.
    July 30, 2008 3:06 PM

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Valerie, also known as The Babywise Mom, is the mother to four children. She has been blogging on Babywise and general parenting since 2007. She has a degree in technical writing and loves using those skills to help parents be the best parents they can be! Read her book, The Babywise Mom Nap Guide, to get help on sleep from birth through the preschool years. You can also find her writing at Babywise.life, Today Parenting, and Her View From Home. Read more about Valerie and her family on the About page. Follow her on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram for more tips and helps.

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  1. Jesskarabow
    October 24, 2008 / 5:37 PM

    My daughter Kara is almost 6 mos old. and we’re still having a problem with getting her to sleep until her waketime at 7:30. She constantly wakes at 6:45 – 7:00. We tried putting her down later – she still wakes at the same time. I an tell she needs more sleep, because after she eats, she wants to go back to bed, but that really messes up the day cause she’ll never sleep until her next feeding at 11:30 – but if I keep her up for 1.5 she sleeps terrible. Any ideas?

  2. Kelly
    October 28, 2008 / 3:51 PM

    My daughter is 8 1/2 weeks. We had established her waketime be at 6:30 because I was planning to go back to work. I’ve decided to cut back to part time, working afternoons and would like her waketime to be later. I’m assuming it’s ok to gradually move her waketime and feeding/nap times up slowly until she’s set at the new waketime. Right? Also, she very rarely makes it until the 6:30 waketime. Often waking 5-6. If it’s on the 5 end, I’ve been feeding her. If it’s closer to 6, I’ve been giving her a pacifier to wait until 6:30. I’m afraid that by trying to move to a later morning feeding she definitely won’t make it. Any suggestions?

  3. bradysmom
    November 24, 2008 / 8:54 PM

    Valerie – I really need your help. We have been doing BW with Brady – who is now about 9.5 months old – since he was born. He was on his schedule since about 2 weeks old. He was a text book baby. Started sleeping through the night from 5 weeks old. His wake time has always been 7:30am. He was doing this, consistently everyday, until about 3 months ago. Ever since then, he rarely sleeps until 7:30 and I don’t understand why. I have tried everything. We treated it as feeding, that didn’t fix it. I have moved his bed time up and back and that didn’t fix it. His room is pitch black – we have blackout blinds and curtains. There are no lights in his room when sleeping. We have a fan in his room to block out sound. He has a humidifier. I have bought a size bigger diaper. Now I have him in Huggies Overnights in a size 5, when he is 23 pounds. I have thought he may be cold so I have turned the heat up. That didn’t do it. I have literally tried everything I can think of, and it doesn’t work. I will hear him start to stir anywhere from 5:30 – 6:30am. He never cries when he wakes. He will be moving around and just talking. I tried for a while just letting him go and seeing if he will fall back asleep. Sometimes he will. I hesitate a lot to go in there because I don’t want him to get used to taht. But – if I go in there and give him a pacifier – which I have done on occasion because I am tired – he will usually go back asleep. I don’t want him to get used to this, but I know that if I just leave him go he’ll just lay in his crib talking and that will mess teh whole day up. Then he’ll have been awake since 5:30/6:00ish. I really don’t know what to do and I don’t know why he is waking early now. Like I said, it’s been going on for about 3 months. He doesn’t get rocked to sleep at night. We have had the same bed time routine since he was born. He goes to sleep perfectly. I put him in his crib awake, he makes no noises and is asleep within a couple minutes. He stays asleep all night long and I don’t hear a peep from him. he is definitely a mover, because in the morning I always find him in a corner, and he is usually wide awake, just hanging out in there with his feet propped up looking at stuff.His naps ahve been changing too. He went through a good stage of solid, 2 hour naps. We did drop the 3rd nap, but sometimes I give it to him if he wakes early from his 2nd nap. He never wake early from a nap crying, though. For his naps he does sleep on his stomach, and he gets a paci. I know – that’s bad. But he had a horrible time with naps, and CIO didn’t work with him. He would just end up crying the whole time he was supposed to be napping. And it doesn’t wake him up if he looses it. But I have never used those to go to be at night. At night we’ve always done it by the book and he has never had a problem.His schedule should be (and was)7:30 wake, eat9:30 – 11:30 = nap11:30 wake, eat1:30 – 3:30 = nap7:00 – start bed timeI always tried to hold him off a little at night because I don’t think he has ever once slept for 12 hours straight. But, up until about 3 months ago, he would go from 8:00 – 7:30. He is on solids. He has a bottle, and then his solids (baby food) and then some finger foods. He’s eating fine and all that. I really dont’ know what it is. Please tell me what I’m doing wrong. I would say that maybe he just can’t sleep taht long, but he did. He used to. I don’t know what’s changed. He has 2 teeth, and I know that messed him up. Then came day light savings, and that messed him up. But he’s not cutting any teeth now. I’m very frustrated and I really can’t figure this out. What am I doing wrong? How should his day go if he does wake early? What time do you think his bed time should be? He is definitely text book as far as wake time…if he’s awake too long he won’t nap well. And if he doesn’t nap well he doesn’t sleep well. What do you think his naps should be like? If he wakes from a nap early, now that he’s 9+ months should I hold him off until the normal eating time?Sorry for all of the questions, but I am really frustrated. Please help and let me know what I’m doing wrong!! Thank you so much Valerie. I have read so many books about this, trying to fix it and nothing has worked.

  4. Jesskarabow
    November 25, 2008 / 1:23 AM

    Wow- Bradysmom – you and I are in the same boat. I felt like I had wrote that post. My daughter Kara will be 7 months this week and has been doing this very thing for about 6 weeks now. We’re trying everything under the sun too. 5:30 AM is way too early for her to be up. I know she needs more sleep. But what do you do? I’m very interested in hearing what Valerie has to say about this. HELP!

  5. bradysmom
    November 25, 2008 / 2:07 PM

    Jesskarabow – yes, I will be very interested to see what Valerie has to say!!!Yesterday Brady had great naps – both 1 hour, 45 minutes. His last nap he woke at 3:15. He was in bed last night, asleep at 7:20. I put him in his crib awake at 7:15, and he made a couple noises and then nothing from 7:20 on. This morning – woke up at 5:30 on the dot. My husband went in and gave him the paci because we are exhausted! He went right back to sleep and my husband had to wake him up at 7:30. Why is he waking!!!! Help us Valerie 🙂

  6. Jesskarabow
    November 27, 2008 / 6:21 PM

    After reading your post again, and some other advice from Valerie in the past. We decided to bit the bullet and officially drop the 3rd nap of the day — well kind of. Kara’s a chronic 45 min napper. So if her 2nd nap is only 45 min, sometimes she’ll go longer, then we sneak in a 3rd for 40-45 but not sleeping later than 4:45. We keep her up until her 7:30 bedtime. She’s cranky as can be but the last 2 mornings has made it to 6:45. It’s not 7:30 but better than 5:15-30. I see bradysmom has already dropped the 3rd nap — but wanted to let you know what we’re doing. Pray it keeps working, and she’ll top being so cranky — I feel terrible that by the time my husband gets home from work, she’s fussing all the time. But we can sleep 🙂

  7. Plowmanators
    December 1, 2008 / 9:13 PM

    Jesskarabow, I am sorry I am so late in getting to you! I will be reading through your later posts in a moment.Kelly, I am sorry I am late for you too! Please let me know if you are still having trouble.

  8. Plowmanators
    December 1, 2008 / 9:21 PM

    Bradysmom, There are likely a few things at play. One is there have been many disruptions (time change, teething, growth spurts) that have contributed to this over the months and habits have formed. Naps are likely not great because of waking so early in the morning.My best guess to the real root of the problem is the pacifier. Since he sleeps in the day with it, it is what he is used to. Does he have it in his crib with him at night? If so, he should be old enough to find it on his own. If he isn’t capable of that yet, he should really soon. If you don’t want him to have a pacifier, I would say you are going to have to take it away for naps also so he can learn how to sleep without it. Can he roll from back to tummy? If not, that might be another reason he isn’t sleeping well past that 5:30 hour–just that he is used to sleeping on his tummy in the day. Be sure to see also this post:5-8 Month Sleep Disruptions : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/05/6-month-sleep-disruptions.htmlI know he is older than that now, but that is how old he was when it started.

  9. Plowmanators
    December 1, 2008 / 9:25 PM

    Jesskarabow, I am glad you have found a solution. Sometimes you have to accept that baby will only sleep to a certain time. Brayden was a 7 AM boy for a long time. I eventually got him to 7:15, and a few months ago to 7:30.

  10. bradysmom
    December 2, 2008 / 1:28 PM

    Thanks, Valerie! Yes – he rolls all over the place, and walks and crawls. He’s quite the mover. He has never had a pacifier at night and we do not keep it in his crib. The only time he ever uses his pacifier is for naps.

  11. bradysmom
    December 10, 2008 / 4:33 PM

    Well, Sunday night he was in his crib at 7:20, and asleep by 7:30. Monday he woke at 7:30am. Monday he took 2, 1.5 hour naps, and was in bed the same time and asleep the same time. He woke on Tuesday at 7:30. Tuesday he took teh same naps, but was in bed at 7:00 and asleep by 7:15. He woke this morning at 6:50am. So – it appears that a lot of it has to do with what time Brady goes to sleep, and it seems his ‘magic’ time is 7:30, precisely. I’m going to do that again tonight and see what happens tomorrow. Since tomorrow is my morning to get up with him, I’m sure he’ll wake at 5:30 🙂

  12. Plowmanators
    December 17, 2008 / 9:26 PM

    Good job troubleshooting and finding out what works. No detail is too small 🙂

  13. LEM
    January 11, 2009 / 4:42 AM

    My almost 8 month old is a great nighttime sleeper. But in order to stay with our schedule I almost always have to wake him for the start of the day. He wakes in a good mood but I always wonder if he needs more sleep. Right now bedtime is 7:30pm and wake time is 7am. Bedtime was originally 8pm but I moved it back because of this same issue. I thought he needed more sleep.Is this OK to always have to wake him in the morning? He’s already sleeping 11.5 hours and I’m not sure how I would get all 4 feedings in if I put him down any earlier. He is typically never that hungry for his feedings to begin with so to put them closer together would make the feeding issue worse I think. Should I continue to wake him or adjust my schedule somehow to give him extra sleep at night? (On a side note – this is not that case with naps. He usually wakes 30 min early and plays in his crib)Our schedule looks like this:7am – wake, bottle, solids9:15 – nap11am – bottle, solids1:15 – nap3pm – bottle, solids6:30 – bottle, bath7:30 – bedtime

  14. Plowmanators
    January 16, 2009 / 6:32 PM

    LEM,I think it is okay to have to wake him–I had to wake Kaitlyn after 12 hours. I might see if he would do 12 hours. Maybe even 15 minutes would be enough so he would wake more naturally. But if eating was then compromised, I wouldn’t do it.

  15. Mayor JennyG
    February 25, 2009 / 2:51 PM

    ahhhh!! this blog is an absolute lifesaver! i was up all night last night reading every post i could get my hands on! ;)question – when can i run errands with my 4 month old? if i run them during waketime, she always falls asleep in the car/carseat – so it’s not really activity, right?! but, if i run them during naptime, she isn’t sleeping in her crib. what should i do? thank you!

  16. Plowmanators
    March 2, 2009 / 8:31 PM

    JennyG,This is what I would do:I would let her take at least her first nap of the day at home in her bed.Then I would pick a waketime to go out. Get her up from her nap when it is time, feed her, then go. Have everything ready before she gets up so you can go as quickly as possible. Then I would try to talk to her and keep her awake. When it comes close to naptime, she can fall asleep if she wants to.The later in the day you run errands, the less disrupted that day will be for her.Another option is to just run errands when it is naptime. If you did this just once a week, then she should be fine about not being in her crib for that one nap.

  17. Ann
    March 9, 2009 / 7:33 PM

    Thank you for doing this! Reading the BW book I was pretty excited to try it out, it seemed so straight forward. Now with a 7 week old, I’m realizing it’s a lot harder than it looks. My question is in regard to wake up time, I’ve sifted through the other comments and can’t quite find the answer. My daughter is sleeping a little longer each week, now we usually have a feeding between 10-11 pm and then she’ll sleep anywhere between 5-6 1/2 hours.I’d like to establish her wake time at 7 but if I let her wake naturally in the night and she wakes at 5:30 am (or even 6), she’s not hungry for a wake time at 7, what do I do? I try to stay on the 3 hour schedule but it’s different everyday because the wake times are different. Thanks for any advice.

  18. Danielle
    March 13, 2009 / 4:33 PM

    Hi! I’m trying to follow BW and my son (almost 3 mos) is on 5 feedings a day, like clockwork! We wake him to “dreamfeed” at about 10-1030 in hopes that he will sleep all the way until 6 am. The past 4 nights, he’s awoken and “talked/cried” at 4 am. I’ve tried to wait it out and he’ll go back to sleep typically about 30-45 minutes later… last night it was almost an hour! Then, I went in at 6 for his AM feeding and he only ate half the bottle. I’m not sure why he won’t sleep past that 4 am hour. He only sleeps about 1.5 hrs between each feeding and is fairly active… please help! PS. I LOVE THIS BLOG!!

  19. jencwu
    March 16, 2009 / 1:40 AM

    Hi, I am wondering when I will be able to let my son sleep in in the mornings? He is 8 months old, and I know BW says a consistent waketime is key. I also know that the whole day’s schedule will be off if I let him sleep in. It is so tempting to do so sometimes though! I almost always have to wake him up in the morning, and he sleeps great at night (about 11 hrs). He’s pretty much been by the book for nighttime sleep (8 hrs from 8 wks, 11 hrs from 4 mos). Since he’s developed this habit for so long now, will it really mess him up if I do let him sleep in every now and then on weekends? Or maybe when he gets onto the family cycle instead of an hourly schedule? So looking forward to that! Thank you 🙂

  20. Plowmanators
    March 19, 2009 / 1:15 PM

    Danielle,If he is waking out of habit, then it is just something he is going to have to learn to sleep through. I would see this post to help eliminate any possible reasons for waking:Nighttime Sleep Issues: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/nightime-sleep-issues.htmlThen it is just a matter of him learning to sleep past that time.

  21. Plowmanators
    March 19, 2009 / 1:18 PM

    jencwu, It will be up to you. I think at this point you could let him sleep in some on the weekends. I personally would stay within 30 minutes of normal wake up time, but I am a rule follower.

  22. Anonymous
    May 9, 2009 / 2:20 AM

    Hi there. Just stumbled on your blog and I love it! My SIL are always saying how we wish there was a babywise hotline to call if we had questions. Now we have you! HA! :)I have a 12 week old that has a dreamfeed at 10:30 and then sleeps about eight hours. For a few mornings he will go till 7:00, and then a few days he’ll go till 6:30, and then maybe randomly he’ll wake up at 5:30. If my goal is to have our waketime be 7:00 then should I feed him at the earlier times? I have been trying to let him CIO if it is before 6:30 but feed him if it is after that time. I know in the babywise book it says they may “talk” around 5:00/5:30 for up to an hour but he is usually crying if he wakes then. My 22 mo old son never went backwards with waketimes once he hit 7:00 am so I am not sure what to do this time around. One more question….. he isn’t napping very well for his last nap of the day. Around 5/5:30-7/7:30. The last few nights he has woken up after 20 minutes or so. I have tried to let him CIO but was wondering if he could be needing to drop that nap. It seems a bit early for that but wasn’t sure what was going on. Congrats on your new baby! And thanks in advance for answering my questions. I know you must be super busy!

  23. LC
    May 9, 2009 / 4:39 PM

    Abby…I have had the same problem with that evening nap with my son (who is now 7) and my DD who is now 8wks old. I’m looking forward to reading what Val has to say about this. With my son, I’m sorry to say, it was something we had to put up with till he fully outgrew that nap…which I think it was sometime near or after 3 mos (they’re too tired to be awake, but not really tired enough to take a full nap…sigh!). I think my daughter is following the same path. She’s usually put down around 6 and will fuss/cry till I get her up. Once in a while she will take what I’d consider a full nap. By 7pm, if the craziness continues, I start her bath and that usually starts settling her down (if she’s actually sleeping at this time, I wait till 7:30 to wake her). I give her a bottle around 7:30 to 8:00 and shortly thereafter she goes down…peacfully most of the time and then I wake her for the 10:30 dream feed. The 7:30ish feeding is not exactly the 3.5 hr schedule she’s on, but it will eventually be her last feeding (once we drop the dream feed…in about a month or so)I am also starting run into the same morning situation as you. Since my DD is not yet the 5am happy waking/talking baby, I just feed her and get her up at 7 and feed her again. She has yet to make it past 5am, but I plan to do the same if she wakes before 6:30am. My son, like your older child, never went back. His first STTN was about 8 hrs at 7wks (he was also on a 4hr schedule from the very beginning!). My new LO has been doing it gradually, unfortunately. Like they say…they’re all different.

  24. Plowmanators
    May 27, 2009 / 7:47 PM

    LC,It sounds like she is having a witching hour. If all other naps are fine, you can put her in a swing or bouncy seat or something so she can rest without ruining her progress. You may have seen my post today about this, but it is normal to have this fussy period and it is okay to deal with it how you need to. It is a relatively short period of time.

  25. Andrea Manor
    July 3, 2009 / 11:45 AM

    I've got a question about my second child who is almost 1. He's been waking up at 5:30 or 6:00 for awhile now. This morning it was 5:00. I think this is a classic case of "rushing in" gone bad. When he started waking so early when he was younger, I would rush in to get him so he wouldn't wake our 3 year old who is right across the hall and was dealing with nightmare issues and not getting much sleep herself. Some of the times he is waking b/c his diaper is soaked and sheets and pajamas are all wet, I've tried laying him back down or giving him his bottle and then laying him down, still won't go back to sleep. He also seems like he's starting to drop a nap some days, but maybe he's just overtired from waking so early. I'd like for them both to stay asleep or at least in their rooms until 7:00. Any suggestions?

  26. Plowmanators
    July 28, 2009 / 2:17 AM

    Andrea, first, be sure he isn't waking due to the sun. It sounds like it might be a diaper issue. I would wake if I were all wet too :). Try putting him in a bigger diaper for nighttime. I don't think I would do the bottle because that will re-train his metabolism. One year is a common time for sleep issues. If it were me, I would consider having him sleep in my room and have DH and me on the couches until it was worked out in order to avoid waking the older child. That way you can work on it without having to worry about that factor.

  27. Salina
    October 12, 2010 / 11:22 AM

    My daughter is 5 months. She was sleeping through the night for a while, with dreamfeed at 9pm, through until 7am. After a couple of weeks going to 7am, I figured I could drop the dreamfeed (she was 4.5 months). But now, she is waking early very hungry every night. So I tried the dreamfeed again, and she still woke early hungry. I'm also starting solids one time a day now thinking she was ready for some extra calories. She's not eating much yet. I'm just not sure if I should go backwards, bringing back the dreamfeed. If I do and she still wakes around 4-5am, should I let her cio or just feed her? Sometimes I wonder if I'm just establishing her hunger pattern to be at 4-5am, by continuing feeding every time, eventhough weeks ago she was going much longer. What would you suggest?

  28. Plowmanators
    October 25, 2010 / 7:28 PM

    Salina, if it were me, I would continue to work to get extra food in her in the day. Add the DF back and continue on with adding solids. When she wakes around 4/5 AM, I would try to comfort her back to sleep. If she just won't go back to sleep, or falls asleep only to waken about an hour later, then you can be quite confident that she is hungry, in which case I would feed her as little as you can get away with.

  29. K. Camille Stevens
    December 3, 2010 / 5:03 PM

    My son is 7 months old and has been sttn (11 hours) for at least two months now. His last feeding of the night is at 7pm and his waketime is 7am. Recently, my husband has mentioned hearing him (he's up before me) as early as 5:40 just making little blabbering noises in his crib. Before this, he was usually awake in his crib, but it seemed like he had not been awake for more than 15 minutes or so. The only other thing that has changed in his day is that (by his change, not ours) his naps have been shorter during the day for at least a month now, and his waketimes have been longer. Could these trends be connected? It doesn't seem like any of the "special circumstances" (like wonder weeks, growth spurt, etc.) really apply here because it's been going on so long. I know it seems counterintuitive, but should I be feeding him earlier in the night and putting him down at 7? Should I be working to get his naps figured out during the day (pretty sudden change from being about 2 hours to just over 1 hour)- or should I be focusing on troubleshooting his nights? I hope my questions make sense. It just seems like we are backtracking at a time when many babies are moving to longer naps, 4 hour schedule, etc. (If it helps give context, he is on a 3 to 3.5 hour schedule, although he can go four hours between feedings if he is distracted or we are out. The missing piece to the four hour schedule step is that his naps are getting shorter, not longer, so he never sleeps through to the next feeding. Unless he's really exhausted, he naps for 1.5 hours at most.Thanks in advance for your help. I feel sort of frazzled about this.

  30. Plowmanators
    December 16, 2010 / 5:50 PM

    K. Camille Stevens,It is possible that the early morning waking could be due to not enough sleep in the day. It is also possible that an earlier bedtime might be the reason. You might try longer waketimes for naps. This is unless his shorter napping started when you did longer waketimes in the first place. If that is the case, go back to your previous waketimes when he was napping longer.You also might try more physical and mental stimulation in the day.I would work on naps, but also try an earlier bedtime.

  31. amylep
    May 26, 2011 / 3:21 PM

    Hi,My daughter is 4 1/2 months old and is finally sleeping better at night. Her last feeding is at 6:30 or 7, and she is down for the night by 7:30. She first wakes at 10:30, but will go back to sleep when I go in there and either pat her back or pick up/put down. She then sleeps till 1 or 2, at which time I usually feed her and she takes a full feed. She's on the smaller side, so I'm not sure she's ready to be over this feeding yet, and the dreamfeed wasn't working for us. What my major issue is, she is consistently waking around 5:45, wide awake and ready to start her day. I have tried feeding her, but she never really takes much at this time, and if she does, she's not ready to eat when "I want to start our day" which would be anywhere from 7-8. Likewise, feeding her at this time, seems to only wake her up more. I've read your posts and I'm confused how to get her to sleep until the hour I want her to wake up. I don't think 7 is unrealistic do you? I would love to push it even later, but I'll settle for 7 at this point. I don't think she's ready to start her day at this time, b/c she is typically sleepy again 45-60 minutes after this time. I've tried wake to sleep method, but it hasnt' worked, I'm not ready for CIO and am wondering what my other options are.Thanks so much, I appreciate any help.

  32. Plowmanators
    June 14, 2011 / 4:05 AM

    amylep,No, I don't think seven is unreasonable. First, you need to wake her up at seven every day no matter what time she was up in the night. Make sure you are consistent with that.There is a post titled "early morning feedings before waketime" that can help you with the 5:45 waking issue. I have to wonder how things would go if you fed her at 10:30 when she woke up. Good luck!

  33. AhEeOoKillerTofu
    September 20, 2011 / 1:26 PM

    Hello! My baby boy is 6 weeks old and I just started BW last week. Things have been better than they were before I started, but harder in some ways too. I have been getting more sleep and so has he, which is the main goal! Question though: Right now I am not working and would like his wake time to be 9, but it seems to be inconsistent with what he wants. Some days he will be within that 30 minute window and I will make it up later, but today he woke up at 8. Now his bedtime will be different than it was yesterday and possibly his waketime tomorrow. He woke up at 8:30 yesterday, went to sleep around 8:45, woke up a couple times within the hour-CIO, slept 'til 4:15! and then woke at 8. (It's not always that great-sometimes he wakes every 3 hours) Should I try to shoot for an earlier waketime? My husband and I are very busy and always have things going on in the evening so it's start to set his bedtime any earlier than what it is already-not to mention he doesn't get home until 6:30so he likes to spend some time with him. I will eventually be going back to work and will have to wake him between 6 and 6:30 (when he is 3 months old). When should I start that? I have so many questions-I wish I had you on speed dial! haha

  34. File N°7
    September 23, 2011 / 2:23 PM

    Hi!I am soo happy to have found your blog! We are one week into BW training and it has done a world of difference. Baby-A is 9weeks old, and just one week ago she hardly ever slept longer than 45min per nap a day, and she was up every two hours in the night to nurse. Now we are sleeping much better during the day, she is more content and happier, and after whitching hour between 9'ish until around midnight, she sleeps soundly until 9am (our waketime) with one feeding around 4am. Bliss! My question is this; we live in Norway at the moment, but will move to NYC in a couple of months. There is a 6hr time-difference. Do you have any idea how I should go about changing the schedule when we get to NY? We will also travel back and forth a few times a year, so I am a bit worried that those trips will mess things up.Thanks again for a wonderful blog!

  35. Bel
    September 29, 2011 / 6:48 AM

    Hi, I have learnt so much from your blog and realize that my 9 weeks old boy's sleep cycle may be delayed by 3 hours. Why I say so? My first feeding is around 6am. My schedule is 6,9,12,3. His optimal waketime is 55mins-60mins.I noticed something is wrong when he seems to take a longer nap after 3pm feed. He ought to go to bed at 7pm after bedtime routine but he catnap and wake around 8pm. I fed him again. I noticed that he stayed awake 9-10pm. His nighttime sleep cycle may start at 9pm. I pondered & realized I may make some mistakes. I am a first time mom so I used my friend's schedule(6 9 12 3). My friend told me it is fine not to incorporate any wake time after 6am feed, so I always put him to bed after feeding. Thus, his first waketime is a bath after 9am feed. After reading more about babywise, I think 9am is my first feed instead of 6am. Personally I will wake up around 7am-730am, so I am thinking of changing my first feeding to this timing & have an activity with him. Will it be too erratic for my baby? Will I need another 8 weeks for the new routine to be stabilized? Please advise. Anyway, he's waking up between 4am-5am for the middle of night feed after I last feed him between 1130-12am.

  36. Plowmanators
    October 4, 2011 / 5:21 AM

    AhEeOoKillerTofu,Yes, definitely earlier waketime. 9 AM is very late. Most babies wake in the 7 AM hour. Also, since you will be waking him at 6:30, I wouldn't fight for a 9 AM waketime. If I were you, I would shoot for 7-7:30 waketime right now.

  37. Plowmanators
    October 6, 2011 / 4:03 AM

    File N7I have posts on "time change"–see those posts to guide you. Good luck!

  38. Plowmanators
    October 7, 2011 / 8:59 PM

    Bel,Moving to 7/7:30 will be totally fine. It should not take 8 weeks to adjust. One piece of advice, though, is if you live somewhere with time change, take that into account when starting your new schedule. So for me, that happens in less than a month. We will move our clocks back, so 7 will become 6. So if I were moving a baby right now, I would work toward 8 right now and then when the time change happened, I would leave things the same, so 8 would become 7. See my "time change" posts as well as the post "early morning feedings before waketime" for ideas on how to change your wake up time.

  39. Mrs. Osborne
    January 23, 2012 / 2:08 PM

    Hi,My baby is almost 6 weeks old. When I go back to work, I will be leaving at 6:30am. What kind of schedule do you suggest? Thanks!

  40. Caitlin
    January 31, 2012 / 1:20 PM

    My son is now almost eleven months old. Before the time change in November my son was sleeping 7-7. Now it's 6-6 and nothing I do seems to help it go later. I have tried several things each for several weeks but nothing works. I've tried feeding him a lot, feeding him progressively less over time, letting him sleep longer during the day to push his schedule back, CIO, I even brought the dream feed back, but that only worked for about a week before he was back at 6 ish. I'm not willing to start my day at six when he's almost a year old! My question is, which of these things (or another) is the one I should be doing, and is it even possible to make this happen?

  41. Plowmanators
    February 8, 2012 / 6:09 PM

    Mrs. Osborne, do you nurse? Or will you be then? If you are nursing, it will depend on how long your baby takes to eat, which will likely change to be faster when you go back to work (if you are going back at 12 weeks).

  42. Plowmanators
    February 8, 2012 / 6:11 PM

    Caitlin, One option is to just wait. We are about a month away from the next time change. In my mind, it isn't worth fighting at this point because by the time you got it fixed, it would be time to change back. If you really want to change it, I would leave him in bed for as long as he will and get as close to 7 AM as you can.

  43. MGC
    May 25, 2015 / 8:38 PM

    Hi – I love your blog and have found it so helpful for these first few weeks with my son; so, thank you!! I would love some advice about his wake time (I see a previous poster asked a similar question, so I apologize for the repeat). He is currently six weeks old, waking at 7am and is a fairly efficient feeder (12-20 min). I will be heading back to work when he is twelve weeks at which point I will have to leave for work a little before 6am. Should I wake him to feed him at 5:20-5:30 or should I just pump, have my husband do a bottle of breastmilk at 7:00 and miss out on morning time with my little guy? Thanks in advance for any suggestions!!

  44. Valerie Plowman
    May 28, 2015 / 11:48 PM

    I would go for whatever you want long term and what you want on weekends/days off. I don't think either is right or wrong–there will be a trade off with either way. You will have to decide what is most important to you.

  45. Hodgepodge
    February 10, 2016 / 4:14 PM

    My breastfed LO is 4 mo next week (but was born two weeks early). We've come a long way with extending naps, learning about wake times, and getting more rest at night.. a lot of it thanks to you 🙂 I've read and read (promise!) – but of course I still have questions. I understand I need to be flexible and things are not always going to work out perfectly. He's a happy healthy baby and my whole world but this inconsistency is rough at timesHere is his "typical" EWS schedule: Still playing with late morning and afternoon wake times. The early morning wake time has been consistent. E 7:30am (I usually wake him)S 8:30am (for ~1-2 hours usually – this is just now becoming more consistent)E 10:30amS (waketime ~80 minutes, sleeps for 1-2 hours)E 1:30pmS (waketime ~80 minutes, sleeps for ~30-45 minutes – still playing around with this wake time)E 4:00ishS (this nap/catnap is hit or miss)E 6:00ish Bedtime routine; he's usually getting cranky/tired by 7ishE 7-7:30ish (husband gives him a bottle of expressed milk); I pump after thisS usually by 7:30-8pmI chose 7:30am to wake for the day 1)because his bedtime is around 7:30 and 2) so I can bf him before I leave for work.I have tried a dreamfeed a few times in the past but it only seems to wake him more frequently during the night. I stopped. Honestly, I'd rather have a 4am feeding vs staying up for a dreamfeed. Do you think I should make his bedtime earlier and then wake him for one more feed before nighttime sleep (like the BW schedule for 11-16 weeks)? OR Make his bedtime earlier and try the dreamfeed again? He was sleeping about 11-12 hours total at night with one feeding around 4-5 (and usually not very interested in the 7:30 am feeding). For the past couple days he has woken up about 2-3 times during the night. (He has already hit his 3 mo growth spurt.) The first night I fed him thinking he was hungry but was not. I was then suspecting the "4 month regression" so the second night I let him stir then went in to rock/paci when he was getting fussy.. He fell back asleep but woke at 6am and I fed him a full feeding. His wake time is about 7:30am usually.. so I woke him at 8:00am. He was not interested when I tried to feed him at 8:00. How do you know when he's ready for the 3.5 hour schedule? I feel like we just recently started the 3 hour schedule and need to get naps and night time sleep more consistent first.I really appreciate your help. You should win an award of some kind!

  46. Megan
    November 29, 2018 / 8:59 AM

    Hi, I have a 4-week-old and we’re having a hard time keeping to the same schedule every day because his nighttimes are so inconsistent. His last feeding of the day is at 11, and sometimes he’ll wake at 1:30 and then 4, sometimes 2:30 and 6:30, sometimes 2 and 5. That means his first feeding of the day is anywhere from 6-8. His feedings and naps are generally still the same, but off by like a half hour to an hour for the first part of the day, then back to the same 5, 8, 11 schedule by the end of the day. Should I pick a wake time and feed him then no matter what time he was last up? So if the day starts at 7, feed him then even if he just ate at 6? Or should I wake him up at specific times in the middle of the night to try to regulate him a bit? Thanks!

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